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Mother recently diagnosed

HonuBeginnings
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2009

On March 9th my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer with mets to brain and adrenal gland. So far she has only gone through radiation to her brain. The appt with the medical oncologist keeps being postponed due to flash floods. Now her next appt is on the 7th of May. This is who is giving us the exact type of lung cancer. She had her biopsy 2 weeks ago, and it is nerve wracking waiting to get the full diagnosis so we can start treatment to the lung. Her original doctor only gave her a few months, but now her new doctor is talking years. My mother is actually doing very well right now. She is very independent. She was alone on Maui, but we have moved her to the island of Hawaii where most of my family lives. I did go to Hawaii to help out for a month, but my daughter and husband also needed me back home in Las Vegas. Now 2 of my sisters have moved from Oregon to live with me and save money before they move to Hawaii. My mother had 4 daughters though I do have 6 half brothers. My sisters who moved in are 22 and my 35 yo twin. Neither has helped in the slightest with regards to our mother. With the diagnosis my mother can no longer work... at least for now. So she has no income until social security comes through. So this last month and a half my older sister and I have financially taken care of her. My father (and his current wife) who has been divorced from my mother for 30 years even sent $2000 to help out, and has offered more. While my sisters have moved in here they have bought very little food and have not offered to even help pay rent. One slightly helps wash dishes, but that's only when it stacks so high and there are no dishes to use. I am disabled and have difficulty moving about, but I still went to Hawaii to help. I took care of feeding our mother, shopping for food, even taking her temperature every 2 hours when she got the flu during radiation treatments. Since coming home I have sent several packages with little things to keep our mom entertained. They have not even sent her a card. It seems like they are using this situation as a way to get sympathy from others, but will not help at all. I did not ask them to leave their place in Oregon. They just showed up a week before I returned home. Said they sold everything and needed a place to stay before they "might" head to Hawaii. My older sister and I seem to have to be taking care of our mother while the other two don't do anything, except cause me even more financial difficulty. They even brought 5 pets with them! I am overwhelmed and the stress is increasing my medical problems. My husband and I have started to bicker and so far my daughter is doing well, but I know she is being neglected. She is 16 and helps a lot, but I know she is overwhelmed too. Has any got any advice to deal with these family problems, so I can focus more on helping our mother.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

You are being taken advantage of, if your story is accurate, purely and simply. But that is something you will have to work out yourself. There is no magical cure for your personality, which apparently allows others to do these things.

I would advise that you remember you have a family and especially a husband and a 16 year old daughter who need your attention and affection. And do not forget yourself, as it seems you have done. Take care of the important people in your life, the most important people, yourself, your hub, and your daughter, and let the others, the sisters, make their own way.

As for mom, do what you can when you can and how you can, without sacrificing your family in the process.

I will tell you, your daughter is at a critical stage in her life. The example you set for her now, in all that you do, will live with her for many years. Be strong, be decisive, be caring, with respect to others, but also let her know that you love and cherish her.

Best wishes to your mom and to you and your family.

Take care,

Joe

HonuBeginnings
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2009

Well the younger sister has moved out to live with her boyfriend in L.A. They are both actors and hope to be "found" We have told her we support her but that there are thousands of people who think the same thing. She must learn though so oh well. My twin is still here with her 4 pets. She did surprise me and gave me $200 for rent. That won't even remotely pay for her share of the utilities, but it is better then nothing. I try to talk with my mom every day. She is very bored. She is used to working very hard sometimes 7 days a week, 12 hrs a day. Now she has none of that. My sister has to work so of course she is left alone during the day. My brothers (2 are paramedics) and other family members stop by often to check on her, but she is still bored. She has only done radiation to her brain. That kinda kicked her butt because she got the flu when my nieces brought it home from school. She finally got over that and now we wait for definitive diagnosis before she can start chemo and/or radiation to her lung. She doesn't want to do Chemo since she said her quality of life would diminish. She feels if she would only have a few months she would rather be up and about rather then laying in a bed. She has never been a person who rests. Heck even when she had a 102 fever she was still trying to organize her medical files. I had to take them away just so she would stay in bed. I rented a bunch of videos and just sat with her. It was very hard for her. She wants to volunteer, but we told her until this phase of treatment is done it would be better not to commit to something like that. I am proud that she tries so hard but worried that she pushes herself too hard. We don't need her in the hospital for another week. Last time the doctors almost begged us to take her home. She hates doctors very much. She is from Argentina and believes in old school medical treatment. I understand her, but in this time in her life she needs to make her own decisions for as long as she can. We just have to support her

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